This is a dish that my mom makes but for some reason I never got her recipe and instead just guessed and came up with my own. Eggplant is in season right now so this is what I will be making with the eggplants from the garden. If you have ever had Chinese eggplant in garlic sauce, this dish is similar, but has a much lighter and more ginger-y sauce. I really loved both eggplant dishes as a kid and consider these dishes to be real comfort food.
1 tbsp canola oil, divided into 3 tsp
2 medium Japanese eggplants, cut into pieces 2 inches long
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dashi (I mix hon dashi and hot water in a hurry)
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp mirin
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 scallion, chopped
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan over medium heat. Place eggplant pieces in a single layer and brown each side. You will probably have to cook your eggplant in two batches. Make sure to add in another teaspoon of oil before cooking the second batch. Set the browned eggplant aside in a bowl. In the same pan, heat the last teaspoon of oil. Toss in the garlic and ginger and cook until just fragrant, about 20-30 seconds. Pour in the dashi, soy sauce, mirin and vinegar. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, then return the eggplants to the pan with the liquid. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Serve with steamed rice, garnished with chopped scallions.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy heirloom tomatoes from my garden is on a piece of toast with homemade olive oil mayonnaise, a thick slice of tomato and a sprinkle of fresh cracked pepper and sea salt.
My mom took this photo of our lunch from Miller Union. It was yummy, but would have tasted better and looked nicer if they kept the watercress but added a more delicate Bibb lettuce in place of the romaine. The tea smoked chicken was really delicious though and very moist.
One of the most simple things to make but also one of the most satisfying. In my opinion, it looks impressive, so it is a good and easy dish to make when you have guests over. Make this for brunch or lunch with the freshest and highest quality ingredients you can get your hands on. Serve with a nice piece of crusty toasted bread for soaking up the leftover egg yolk.
Mediterranean Style Calamari in Spicy Tomato Sauce
With the leftover uncooked calamari (I’m calling it that because I know the word squid freaks people out. It actually bothers me that people say they hate squid but love fried calamari.) from my calamari salad, I decided to make stuffed calamari simmered in a spicy tomato sauce. It was my first try at stuffed calamari but it turned out really good. I served this with quinoa salad. Make sure to use a kitchen timer when you put in the calamari because you really do not want it to become overcooked and rubbery.
2 tbsp olive oil
6 medium squid tubes
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup minced cabbage
1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
1/4 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
2 cups tomato puree
1 tsp anchovy paste
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
juice of 1 lemon
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp oregano, dried or fresh
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse squid tubes in water and thoroughly dry with paper towels. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium. Place in the minced cabbage and onion. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute the vegetables for 10-15 minutes until they are fully cooked and the onions are translucent. Add in the garlic and continue to cook for a few more minutes until the garlic is no longer raw. Remove this mixture from pan. Mix in the chopped olives and parsley. Set aside and allow to cool. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.
Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil over low. Add in the red pepper flakes and garlic and cook for 20-30 seconds until fragrant. Pour in the tomato puree, anchovy paste, oregano and bay leaves. Stir, cover and simmer while preparing the squid.
Once the vegetable mixture has cooled, fill each squid tube and close the opening with a wooden toothpick. Place the stuffed squid into the simmering tomato sauce. Spoon the sauce over each stuffed squid. Cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes, turning the squid over halfway through cooking. After 20 minutes, remove the stuffed squid from the sauce and set aside. Allow the sauce to reduce for about 5 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add in the lemon juice. Remove the toothpicks from the squid and slice into bite sized pieces. Serve the squid over the tomato sauce and garnish with more parsley and a few drops of good olive oil.
Xihongshi Chao Jidan (Chinese Tomatoes Stir-Fried with Eggs)
Tomatoes stir-fried with eggs are so simple but surprisingly delicious and quick to prepare. I have to admit, the first time I saw this dish, the idea of scrambled eggs with tomatoes did not excite me, but I really have to come to love it. I believe a family friend taught my mother how to prepare this dish, who in turn taught me. Chao Jidan is a lifesaver for weeknights when you don’t have much time to prepare dinner. Serve it with steamed rice and sprinkle with Chinkiang black vinegar if you like.
2 tbsp canola oil
2 large tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Chinkiang black vinegar (optional)
Mince the garlic and chop the scallion finely. Cut each tomato into 8 wedges. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok or a skillet over high heat. Crack and beat the eggs in a bowl. When the oil is very hot, pour the eggs in. Let the eggs cook untouched for about 30 seconds, then turn with chopsticks or spatula only a few times so that eggs remain in large curds. Do not overcook the eggs. They should be fluffy and soft. Remove the eggs from the pan and set aside. Wipe out the pan and then heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Drop in the tomatoes and garlic and cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly until the tomatoes soften. Stir the eggs back in and cook for another minute. Season with salt and pepper and add the scallions. Serve immediately.
This is a refreshing and healthy summer salad that is very easy to put together. I like to serve my salmon salad over lettuce, but it is also great in wraps and sandwiches.
Ingredients for the dressing:
1/4 cup orange juice
zest of 1 orange
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp anchovy paste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp white pepper
3 tbsp drained capers
large pinch of red pepper flakes
salt, to taste
Ingredients for the salad:
1 cup celery, sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 cup english cucumber, sliced into thin rounds
10-15 blanched asparagus spears, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 hass avocado, cut into cubes
1 cup skinless, boneless salmon pieces (you can cook your own salmon for this recipe or you can used canned salmon, which works just fine)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Put the one clove of garlic through a garlic press or grate it with a microplane. Add into a small bowl along with the rest of the ingredients for the dressing. Whisk to combine thoroughly and set aside. Place all the salad ingredients into a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently. Try not to break up the avocado and salmon too much. Taste to see that you have enough salt. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place into the fridge. This salad tastes best after it has marinated for a few hours. Serve.